Worship Media Arts

Archive for Personal Rant

Iphone 4 and preordering – Two tips for upgrading users

 width=We here at Midnight Oil are suckers for Apple products. When we first heard the about the original iphone, we knew for certain that we’d have to have one. Goodbye Palm Treo… Hello iphone.

The phone is amazing for keeping up with email, staying in touch with family, friends and business contacts, and it’s great tool for occupying dead time. It’s even a pretty nifty worship device with apps like Planning Center Online and ProPresenter’s Remote available. What’s even better is that it’s now become our GPS for when we’re on the road.

We’ve upgraded with every incarnation of the phone, learning little valuable lessons each time we’ve upgraded. Here’s what we’ve learned:

Used iphones are worth a lot more than you’d think:
When we went from the original Edge network phone to the 3G, we sold our originals to friends for a measly $100. We had no clue that they were going for nearly the same price we originally paid in the Apple store on ebay. If your iphone is in good shape, and you still have the box, you can get $300 or more out of your used iphone. That makes the new one free with a little profit on top!

When we moved from 3G to 3Gs, we sold ours on ebay for $350 a piece. Not a bad deal!

Preorder! Preorder! Preorder! … IF YOU CAN!

We stood in line for hours last year the day the 3GS came out, only to miss getting in the door by a few people. They ordered the phone for us in the store for later pickup, but they were so backed up, we had to wait 3 or 4 days to get them in the mail. If we’d pre-ordered, they would have come in the mail the day they went on sale in stores.

If you can preorder- do it. IF is a big “IF” right now unfortunately. June 15 (the day this posting) is preorder day. The problem is AT&T ¬†and Apple are so overwhelmed by orders, neither company’s website seems to be working correctly where orders are concerned. From what we’re seeing on blogs and other news services, going in to a brick and mortar won’t be any better because they’re reliant on the sites for order processing.

If you’re impatient like we are, it’s almost torture to see screens like this every few seconds:

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Who knows if the hype will die down later tonight or tomorrow, but it’s probably still worth pre-ordering and avoiding the lines. Chances are you’ll still get your phone on opening day in the mail.


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Magnetic Oil

August has been a full month for Midnight Oil. Partly that is because we have had three events on the books: a trip to suburban Boston for the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church; a Worship Boot Camp in Plano, Texas for church planters and new service starters from 26 states; and one of our Creative Worship-Design Matters events at a Presbyterian church in Chicago. All of this travel is highly unusual for August, not that we’re complaining.

But that is only half of the story. Usually, headed into a busy travel season I try to make sure that my part of our company affairs are in good working order. This time, however, I had to contend with a dead laptop for almost 3 weeks.

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New Worship Leader Position

HELP_WANTEDHave you seen this ad?

WANTED: Worship and Creative Arts Leader
First Church is looking for a dynamic person to take their worship to the next level. This person must have a deep, spiritual mature walk with Christ that adheres to our doctrines, must provide charismatic up front leadership for guiding others in worship, and they must be really great with a guitar. Further, this person must have organizational and administrative gifts to lead, develop and coordinate volunteers in the worship ministry, and have the ability to clearly communicate vision for worship to staff/clergy/lay leadership.

He/she must be abreast of the latest in contemporary worship, able to produce professional quality videos and graphics, maintain a current technical expertise and knowledge for use of media in worship, and lead forward with research and implementation of new technologies for ministry. Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, video editing, motion graphics, html, php and social networking assumed. Further, this person must oversee the web presence for the church, and be able to help church create a brand identity for the new contemporary worship service that will appeal to the unchurched and barely churched in our community. Seminary degree preferred, 5+ years experience in worship leadership and media ministry. Ideally this leader is under 30. Starting salary commiserate with experience, beginning at $25,000.

Seriously. That’s what most churches do, isn’t it? Take about 4-5 people and try to cram them into one mythical person who is going to save their hides? One day maybe churches will realize the value of these qualities as separate ministries, and the necessity of equipping a team of people to accomplish the task of growing a vital, dynamic worship ministry. In the meantime, we’ll stay on the lookout for WorshipMaster.





Ok… I just have to get this off my chest…


It’s gotten to the point where too much is revealed, plots are spoiled, and the majority of narratives are stuffed into the two to three minute trailers meant to promote films.

I’ve often joked at our seminars that now-a-days you watch the trailer and see every major plot point and then end up having to pay to see the ending. While that started out as a joke, I’m beginning to thing it’s true.
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